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Headline Outcome – Confidence in Staff who Provide Support and Care
The Chief Executive of the Care Inspectorate in Scotland, Karen Reid, has written to care providers, advocating that they become familiar with the layout and content of the new Health and Social Care Standards in Scotland before they are fully introduced in April 2018. She emphasised the person-led, rights-based and outcome focus of the new standards. The implementation of the standards will be assisted by support and information from the Care Inspectorate leading up to that date. This will help services to review their operations, such as training, recruitment, and policies on rights and personal outcomes. It will also enable the quality of support to be provided in accordance with these increasing expectations.
The standards for all services are simply laid out according to five 'headline outcomes'. Each of these has descriptions of what can be expected, based on five agreed principles as follows:
- Be included
- Responsive care and support
(The complete standards can be downloaded at the Scottish Government website: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/health-social-care-standards-support-life/pages/1/
Each week I am summarising one of the five headline outcomes, with the outcome descriptions under these principles, of what people choosing the service should expect, and what the service should do to meet these expectations.
I have confidence in the people who support and care for me
This week I will discuss the outcome: I have confidence in the people who support and care for me
Dignity and Respect:
There is courtesy and respect for me, my care and my home. How we behave towards each other is respected. My care is the focus of discussions. Full information about my care is given only to the right people.
I feel comfortable with warm, respectful working relationships with people who have introduced themselves.
I know in advance who provides my care and can have a say in this where possible. My choices, decisions and chosen outcomes are given priority. Decisions about my care are made by those who know me as an individual. I have good communication and understanding with those who support and care for me.
Responsive Care and Support
I am cared for by people who are skilled and observe their professional code of practice. They can anticipate problems, and plan my care for the future. They are responsive to my requests, and there are enough staff to provide support as well as having time to talk with me. My care is consistent and stable because people work together well.
I am protected by staff who understand their responsibilities to be aware of any indication of harm, abuse, neglect, bullying or intimidation. I am supported in taking an active, safe and secure part in my own community. If I go missing, people will look for me as well as sharing and liaising with police or other relevant services. Any safety concerns I express, or which are relevant to me, are taken seriously and acted upon.
These outcome standards are aspirational and set an admirably high bar. It is expected that all care providers can meet the standards as they pursue their improvement and development work. In some cases, it is thought this may require more funding for services. For example, the outcome '3.15 My needs are met by the right number of people.' is very clear. But in the Herald newspaper today, it is reported that nursing chiefs have called for a safety review of staff levels in hospitals. It was prompted by an RCN survey which found that 50% of responding nurses reported care being compromised on their most recent shifts, and 38% were unhappy with the quality of care they could provide.
Clearly, the implementation of some of these standards fully will require not just familiarisation or legislation, but the provision of increased funding resources to support their introduction.
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